A Royal visit to see development of new technology

Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand visited UC Davis on May 14-15, 2012.

royalvisitThe Princess of Thailand and senior Thai academic scientists accompanying her showed high interest in the newest developments in agricultural and nutritional research presented to them by UC Davis faculty. HRH the Princess is a knowledgeable and dedicated patron of several charitable organizations that are active in agriculture, nutrition and community development in Thailand and other countries of Southeast Asia.

At the UC Davis workshop, Allen Van Deynze and Kent Branford of the UC Davis Seed Biotechnology Center (SBC) had the honor to present a summary of recent SBC activities.

Allen described a new SBC educational program, the Asian Plant Breeding Academy that will begin in November 2012 in Thailand in collaboration with the Asian & Pacific Seed Association.

Kent Bradford updated HRH the Princess on a novel technology (desiccant drying beads) that is being implemented to address the challenge of safely drying and storing seeds under humid conditions.

This project, supported by a USAID-funded HortCRSP grant, is based on technology developed by a Thai company, (Rhino Research Group, Phitchit) and is being implemented in Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Kenya and other countries. Such expertise and methods will be instrumental for adoption of advanced seed technologies in Thailand’s agricultural industry.

For more information on the UC Davis, SBC and the Plant Breeding Academy in Asia visit or contact Jeannette Martins at

APSA launch of the Centor group

A new group will be launched at the Asia Pacific Seed Association Conference in Bali in November 2012.

The Centor Group has ambitions of being a "Your One Stop Global Seed Tech Shop" by bringing their considerable technology, experience, skills, resources and products together to deliver leading edge technologies and services to the agricultural seed industry.

They have tapped into the recourses of their diversified research facilities, located on four continents, to unlock latent potential and speed up the delivery of practical seed applied solutions under the guidance of an Innovation Council headed up by Johan Van Asbrouck.

They are focused globally, yet operate locally to deliver synergistic, customized solutions and regard themselves as being international in the truest sense by staying as close to their customers wherever they are.

"We are constantly on the lookout for opportunities that complement and enhance technologies needed and used by our customers" Mr Van Asbrouck said.

The name "Centor" is derived from Centaurus, one of the largest constellations in the sky; Centor combines references to "centaur" and "center", signifying associations with focus, center, nucleus and unity; a centralized and pivotal solutions hub with a single vision and purpose. It denotes the strength and market power of a new combined brand entity and alludes to the group's status as a premium supplier of materials & services.

The Centor Group will have a large display area at APSA with over 20 staff on hand to explain and demonstrate products and services from seed production to seed sowing, coating inputs and application machinery, drying technologies and equipment, analytical equipment and services, markers, training and education.


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